Well, tonight the Republicans have their moment at The Ronald Reagan Library where they will “debate” but actually use the opportunity to repeatedly tell their mostly Republican viewers that the presidency of President Obama is the worst thing to happen to America since the establishment of the income tax. And of course, they will pay fulsome obeisance to the memory of a president who codified the “conservative” revolution, but ironically, would not recognize the extreme views of today’s GOP.
Mitt Romney, worried that crazy Rick Perry has quickly overtaken him in the polls, will try to match the crazy, belying the “moderate” image he should be presenting to the moderate sensibility of the independent vote (known as the “sweet spot” in national electoral races). Yesterday, Romney released an alarming economic plan with lots of facts and figures on more than a hundred glossy pages which is more of the same Tea Party/Ayn Rand/ Paul Ryan gibberish. You know the formula by now: massive tax cuts in tandem with massive spending cuts leading to a dramatic and destabilizing surge in indebtedness and the inevitable destruction of the social compact (particularly in Medicare, Medicaid, education, and scientific research/development). Naturally, such a plan will be rejected by the public if they are paying attention, which they will, in time. But to cater to the radical GOP, Romney will morph into whatever it takes to beat Perry. Which odds are, he won’t.
And what about Perry? Help us all from the man who in Texas is known as “Governor Good Hair”. Consider a few of his recent pronouncements: Global warming “doubtful”; Social Security a “ponzi scheme”; Medicare “unconstitutional”. And today two more things to add to the alarming catagory.
First, Texas is in the midst of its worst drought since 1954, at least 700 homes have burned in the last few days as huge wildfires burn out of control, but the Governor prefers to be at the “debate” tonight. It appears that the fires will have an easier time of it because, according to Thinkprogress: “As wildfires destroy over 700 homes, Texas may regret the fact that, under Gov. Rick Perry (R), it cut funding for volunteer fire departments by 75 percent this year. The “majority of Texas is protected by volunteer fire departments” with 879 volunteer departments and only 114 paid departments.”
Second, Perry has gone all in the right wing’s determined, unrelenting efforts to undermine Roe v. Wade, by signing on to the dreadful “heartbeat bill” that is pending in Ohio. The economy will be the primary issue in this election, but no one should forget that to the GOP, social issues like abortion are just as important, and with the Supreme Court seeing an inevitable shakeup in the next 2-4 years, who is president really matters.
Texas use to have the late Molly Ivins to keep an acerbic eye on their crazy “cowboy” politicians (she invented the delightful sobriquet for George W. Bush, calling him “shrub”). Now they have a guy named Jim Hightower who is pretty good. He has been around for a bit, and is singularly unimpressed with Rick Perry. To put it politely, Perry is a total fraud.
Tomorrow, I will be more upbeat because the President will speak. Early indications that 300 Billion and Stimulus are the focus. Sounds good to me.